'Broad and Anderson still have huge roles to play for England' - Joe Root

Sri Lanka v England, 3rd Test, Colombo November 22, 2018

Joe Root insists that England need to savour the experience and expertise of Stuart Broad and James Anderson for as long as they can, despite both of his senior seam bowlers enduring frustrating series in an otherwise triumphant tour of Sri Lanka.

Broad is set to make his first appearance of the series in the third Test at Colombo, having missed out in Galle and Pallekele to make room for the extra spinner in Jack Leach.

He will replace Anderson, who struck with his second ball at Galle to remove Dimuth Karunaratne for a duck, but subsequently admitted to feeling like a "spare part" as he failed to add to that tally in 40 subsequent overs across four innings.

However, with a combined tally of 998 Test wickets in careers that stretch back to 2003 and 2007 respectively, Root was grateful for the wisdom they had been able to impart behind the scenes, and was adamant that both men still had a huge role to play when the conditions return to their favour.

"It's a great luxury to have isn't it?" Root said. "For that amount of experience to be around the squad and offering so much to the group has been excellent.

"We've played in conditions where we've not needed that much seam bowling in the middle but [Broad's] been raring to go and doing everything he can. He's got the opportunity to play this week and I'm sure he'll be desperate to put in a really strong performance and show he's very skilful in these conditions."

Of the two veterans, Broad is the one whose long-term future has come under the greater scrutiny in recent months. He endured a lean Ashes series after encountering some issues with his wrist position, and though he rediscovered his form for the English season, his haul of 16 wickets at 29.68 still paled compared to Anderson's 24 at 18.12.

But Root is adamant that Broad remains integral to their Test plans in the coming months, which include a tour of the Caribbean in the new year and a home Ashes campaign in the English summer, in which England hope to keep pressing towards their stated aim of becoming the No.1 Test team in the world.

"You look at the experience he can bring to the team and his record in English conditions, and what he's capable of there, and he's invaluable," said Root. "He's still one of England's best bowlers - I genuinely believe that - but we've had to be quite cute and smart about exploiting these conditions here and we'll have to do the same later on in the winter in the West Indies.

"I'm very aware how talented the group is and how talented our two senior guys are. We generally get very excited about wishing people into retirement and I think with those two in particular, we have to make the most of them while we can, be smart about managing and see how long they can go for.

"They both look on top of their game at the moment, if you ask me. They're both bowling fantastically well and keep looking to improve and get better. As far as I'm concerned I want to get the most out of them for as long as we can."

In spite of the lack of impact for England's seamers in this series - a record 38 wickets fell to spin in the Pallekele Test - Root praised their efforts regardless, particularly the manner in which they had held Sri Lanka's run rates in check to allow their trio of spinners to turn the screw.

"Our seamers have done a fantastic job when they've had the opportunity to play," he said. "Look at Jimmy and the spells that he's bowled: he's built and created a lot of pressure. And that sometimes has got rewards at the other end.

"It can be overlooked on occasions. Stuart is more than capable of doing that and we know if we can take two or three early wickets on unresponsive wickets for seam bowling, it'll be a massive bonus, which, again, you'd like to think he'll be able to do. It's a great opportunity for him to play this game. And hopefully he can do some damage."

Root added that there was a further reason for England to be grateful for the endurance of their veteran quicks. With the twin demands of the Ashes and World Cup next summer, two huge events that are sure to stretch their multi-format players to the limit, having two senior Test specialists waiting in the wings to hit the ground running for the Ashes in August could be invaluable.

"I think it's going to be the case for us and Australia going through that World Cup, making sure the guys are fresh and prepared," Root said. "It'll be interesting to see which sides are selected for that World Cup, especially in Australia's case leading into it. It's a long time away.

"We've a lot of cricket to play before then. But look where we're at in the Test team: there are still some Test specialists in there who will make sure they get some good first-class cricket in and game time under their belts ahead of that series. I feel like we've a good handle on things at the moment. And hopefully everyone is in a really good position going into the start of the year."

Disclaimer: This news is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Cricday. Source Link